520 North Third Ave Sandpoint, ID 83864

 (208) 263-1441

Bonner General Health Earns Time Sensitive Emergency Designations For STEMI, Stroke & Trauma


Bonner General Health is the first hospital in northern Idaho and the second Critical Access Hospital in Idaho to receive all three Time Sensitive Emergency Designations.
BGH has been designated a Level IV Trauma Center; a Level III Stroke Center, and a Level II STEMI (heart attack) Center by the Time Sensitive Emergency Council. The Time Sensitive Emergency (TSE) system is modeled on evidence-based care that addresses public education and prevention, 911 access, response coordination, pre-hospital response, transport, hospital emergency/acute care, rehabilitation and quality improvement. The TSE program has demonstrated improved patient outcomes, lower costs, reduced preventable deaths and improved quality of life. It helps get the patient to the right place in the right time to the right care.
The TSE Council is an organization selected by the Idaho Legislature to develop a statewide system of care to address the top three causes of death in Idaho (trauma, stroke, and heart attack). In order to receive these designations BGH was surveyed in all three areas. The Trauma Survey took place in January and the STEMI and Stroke surveys took place on August 30th. The surveys include hospital tours, patient record reviews, and evaluation of equipment and policies and procedures. The surveyors were extremely impressed by the care that is provided by our physicians and staff and the commitment that is demonstrated by the entire organization to provide high quality care to our community. They were also impressed with the effective collaboration that we have with EMS. Pre-hospital care is critical to improving patient outcomes.

The following guiding principles are the foundation for the TSE system:

  • Provide nationally accepted evidence-based practices to time sensitive emergencies
  • Ensure that standards are adaptable to all providers wishing to participate
  • Ensure that designated facilities institute a practiced, systematic approach to time sensitive emergencies
  • Reduce morbidity and mortality from time sensitive emergencies
  • Design inclusive systems for time sensitive emergencies
  • Participation is voluntary
  • Data are collected and analyzed to measure the effectiveness of the system.

Pictured above from left to right: Denis Simko, Emergency Department Nurse; Dr. Ken Gramyk, Medical Director for Stroke and STEMI; Sheryl Rickard, CEO; Misty Robertson, CNO; and Colleen Lock, Emergency Department Nurse stand with the Telestroke robot that puts stroke patients in front of a neurologist.
Bonner General Health’s Chief Executive Officer, Sheryl Rickard said, “This designation is a culmination of the extraordinary work by our team of physicians, hospital staff and our EMS providers and their shared goal of providing the best possible trauma care to our community. I am so proud of the dedication to quality patient care that our team demonstrates each and every day.”
There are special requirements that must be met to be designated as a Level IV Trauma Center, including strenuous Quality monitoring and extensive staff training and certifications. Bonner General Health was surveyed by a three member team on January 13th, 2017. The survey team evaluated all aspects of trauma care including staff and physician trauma training levels, trauma equipment, facilities, and supplies on hand, and toured the Emergency Department, Laboratory, Blood Bank, Surgical Services, Intensive Care Unit, and Diagnostic Imaging Departments. The survey team identified zero deficiencies and recommended that Bonner General Health be designated a Level IV Trauma Center for a period of three years.
This designation did not change the level of care provided, but it allows the community to be aware of the trauma capabilities available at Bonner General Health and improves communication among healthcare partners responding to these emergencies.

Pictured above from left to right: Mike Taylor, Emergency Department Nurse; Dr. Ken Gramyk, Medical Director for Stroke and STEMI, and Misty Robertson, CNO accept the Level IV Trauma Designation for Bonner General Health.

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